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How much does it cost to Demolish a house in Melbourne?

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

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Cost to Demolish a House

Thinking of Rebuilding? How Much Does It Cost to Demolish a House?

If you’re in a great location with a not-so-great house, rebuilding on your existing piece of land is an ever-popular choice. In fact, about a third of all new house builds are now in this category, according to the Housing Institute of Australia, with land scarcity driving up demand. But before a rebuild, you’ll need to look closely at the knock-down process. This includes researching the cost to demolish a house and finding a suitable contractor that will level & clear your site to your builders requirements. Here, we outline what will impact the demolition dollars in your budget.

So How Much Does It Cost to Demolish A House?

Considering all of the factors we go through below, including size, accessibility, type of home and hazardous materials, the price can vary greatly, but in our experience you would be looking anywhere between $15,000 to $40,000 to demolish your home. If you’re home is in an easy to access location, relatively small and not built with hazardous materials like asbestos, you’re estimated house demolition cost would be closer to $15,000 to $20,000.

What Do You Need to Consider When Demolishing a House?

We will dive into deeper detail below, but here’s what you need to consider when demolishing your home:

  • Size of House

  • Access to the Demolition Site

  • Building Materials

  • Hazardous Materials (Asbestos)

  • Distance to Recycling/Disposal Centre

  • Tree or Shrubbery Clearing

  • Will your contractor do the job correctly, the cheapest isn't always what it seems.

  • Size of House Being Demolished Yes, the size of your house will impact the overall demolition cost, with some contractors charging by the square metre. We’ve found that the demolishing cost can be upwards of $40 per square metre, but again this depends on a number of other influencing factors you need to consider when demolishing a home, which we will go through in more detail.

Access to House Being Demolished

Your site gradient and access for demolition equipment may also have a bearing. Essentially, if the home you wish to demolish is in a difficult to reach location, this will make it more difficult to transport demolition equipment, transportation vehicles and disposable material from the site, therefore increasing costs.

Building Materials

A timber house is generally cheaper to demolish than brick or concrete, which are heavier materials requiring special machinery. In many cases, timber can be salvaged and recycled, which will bring down the overall cost of your demolition.

In some instances we have recommended the client contact one of our specialists to have the house put on a truck and sold interstate, all the owners needed to pay for was a site clean up and removal of stumps and footings, we have a solution for everyone, just ask a TDG consultant.

If you have a brick home, the demolisher may be able to recycle all solid bricks and salvage as much as possible to reduce waste going to landfill.

Hazardous Materials (Asbestos)

How do you demolish a house with asbestos? How much does it cost to demolish a house with asbestos?

If your house was built between 1920 and 1990, there’s a good chance that asbestos was used in construction. This will boost your budget, as asbestos is about three times more expensive to remove than standard building materials – due to the specialist skills, extra labour and treatment required. The hazardous material needs to be disposed of safely by experienced removalists.

Then there is asbestos that is not visible at the time of quoting, the old timers used to bury old building waste, and sometimes it is found underground. This is where you will need to be sure you have chosen a reputable contractor, some old tricks we encounter from time to time when a client has a cheaper quote – cheap quote then the customer gets hit with additional charges for asbestos removal, sometimes upto 10k due to having to remove soil from the contaminated area. Remember that your builder will undertake soil tests after demolition. Good luck getting the cheap guy to come back or even answer his phone. Speak to a TDG consultant about their unique service and how you are safeguarded from this.

Other Factors That Need to be Considered When Demolishing a Home

Additional factors that will impact the cost of removing your existing home include:

Extra structures that need to be removed, like a shed or pool.

Trees or shrubs that need clearing to allow for your new build.

Distance to recycling or disposal centres, which adds to transportation costs.

Understanding the Demolition Process

Before you sign on the demolition dotted line, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the demolition process. Your demolisher will only offer to handle what is within their scope of works; there will parts you need to take care of, yourself, thats where TDG’s service begins, helping you understand and supply the correct documentation so you can fulfill what is required from you.

Demolition Permits

Do I need a permit to Demolish House?

You’ll need the proper paperwork in place before you begin demolishing your house. This involves working the demolisher and their choice of surveyor who will lodge all the forms and paying a fee. This process may take several weeks and sometimes months depending on the job, so it’s important to factor it into your building timeline. Most importantly, you’ll need to check whether there are any heritage restrictions on demolition or tree removal.

Services Disconnection

Here, you’ll need to work in close cooperation with your demolition contractor. Usually you’ll need to disconnect your electricity, gas, telecommunications and water/sewer prior to starting the demolition of your house, however check whether your supplier needs water for any asbestos removal first. If you’re building straight after demolition, your electricity supplier may relocate your service to a temporary builders pole.

Underground Electrical Power Pit

Most builders construct all new dwellings with underground power. If you are undergoing a Knock Down Re-Build (KDRB), your overhead power will need to be abolished and you will need to arrange the installation of an underground electricity pit. If you are undergoing a new build, an underground power pit should be allowed for. Speak to a TDG consultant about how we can help supply a quote and have the best power option installed for your new home.

Choosing a Demolition Contractor

Your builder will request you supply a level clean block, they know how much headaches are involved with dealing with demolishers. It’s important to choose a demolition company that has all the necessary licences, up-to-date equipment, and proven processes, and to understand where and how they will dispose or recycle your building debris. Also, will they do the job to the standards of your builder, TDG handles all these headaches by referring contractors to you who have a proven success rate.

How Long Does it Take to Demolish a House?

The physical act of knocking down your existing house usually happens relatively quickly – in some cases, it only takes a few days to a week. But you’ll need to allow around two to three months to walk through the full process, which needs to be factored into your building project plan.

Most importantly, with your demolition done your site is now ready for the most exciting step: the construction of your dream home.

Get in Touch!

If a knockdown – ready for you to rebuild ticks all your boxes, talk to a specialist. The Demolition Group (TDG) not only has a selected group of demolishers – you deal with them directly, we’ll take care of each and every step in between to make sure you have help where you need it, so you can relax and enjoy your new build. Don't get caught out, contact us for a chat at 1300 278 683.

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